10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
It was an ideal opportunity to blood youngsters Robbie Henshaw and Stuart Olding marshalled by Madigan, one of five players making their first senior starts for Ireland.
There were debuts in the second half for replacement forwards Tommy O'Donnell, Jamie Hagan and Mike Sherry as the tourists, some 166 caps behind the Americans in terms of Test experience, closed out a hard-earned win.
Incoming head coach Joe Schmidt was among the 20,181-strong crowd at the BBVA Compass Stadium, a record attendance for a rugby match on American soil, and he watched Madigan kick Ireland into a 12-6 half-time lead.
A fifth successful penalty followed in the 54th minute after USA captain Todd Clever saw yellow for a dangerous tackle, but Kiss' charges were unable to score over the remaining half hour.
Two penalties on the trot from full-back Chris Wyles boosted American hopes of a first triumph in eight meetings with Ireland, however the visitors held on in the sticky Texan heat.
Kiss was pleased with how Ireland dealt with the physicality brought by the Americans, praising the scrum in particular as it gave the team something to build on in the opening quarter.
"The USA were very physical and it's exactly what we expected. We believed we could lay a platform with our scrum, tonight it served us well and got us a lot of points," he said.
"I thought we managed the pressure well when it came on us and always stayed in control of the game."
Both sides were not long in working up a sweat in high humidity and temperatures touching 27 degrees. Full-back Henshaw had a solid opening with two strong tackles and Olding settled in nicely in a centre partnership with Ulster colleague Darren Cave.
Although there were some lost and untidy lineouts, Ireland's superior scrummaging was a factor early on and a series of penalties - the latest seeing Kilcoyne put pressure on American tighthead Eric Fry - allowed Madigan give his side a 10th minute lead.
Fergus McFadden and Henshaw popped in attack soon after, the hosts' muscular defence holding the Irish at bay - the decibel level increased after a thumping Samu Manoa hit on O'Mahony in midfield.
But Madigan made it 6-0 by the end of the first quarter, rewarding Devin Toner for his retrieval of a loose ball on the deck before the Americans infringed at the ruck.
The worsening penalty count clearly frustrated Clever who was in the ear of Argentinian referee Francisco Pastrana, and a forceful carry from the American skipper seemed to spark them into life.
Olding almost wriggled free as Ireland began to look dangerous from Madigan and Isaac Boss' zippy passes, however the USA had the game's first real try-scoring opportunities.
Cave lacked support near halfway and a quick turnover saw Luke Hume launch a kick chase. The bouncing ball evaded Henshaw's grasp and Ireland needed a vital tackle from the retreating Olding to keep the American winger out.
Mike Tolkin's men maintained their foothold in the Irish 22, pumped up by the lusty chants of 'USA! USA! USA!', and a subsequent penalty from Wyles opened their scoring account.
A clean Irish lineout and some promising territory yielded another penalty - this time former Dublin University captain Scott LaValla was pinged for interfering with Boss at the back of a ruck - and Madigan booted the kick home for a 9-3 scoreline.
The place-kickers landed a penalty apiece in the lead up to the interval, with Northampton Saint Manoa breaking a couple of tackles to set up Wyles' second effort and Ireland responded as a late Madigan strike rewarded another advancing scrum.
Number 8 O'Mahony, captaining Ireland at the age of 23, grew in influence as the first half wore on with a noteworthy carry on the left and he was part of the 'choke tackle' collective that teed up that penalty-winning scrum in the 40th minute.
The Corkman was back on defensive duty as the USA seized the initiative early in the second half. Clever provided the inspiration as he barged through Kilcoyne's attempted tackle and O'Mahony had to bring down Wyles as the hosts pressed just 10 metres out.
O'Mahony and back row colleague Chris Henry combined to force a relieving turnover and handling errors became more of an issue in the energy-sapping conditions.
The Americans looked to get Takudzwa Ngwenya involved, bringing him in off his wing but McFadden, with his head bandaged following a first half knock, met the Biarritz speedster with a typically committed challenge.
Ireland got on the front foot as the choke tackle tactic paid off again, this time Madigan and Henderson doing the hard graft in contact, and a Wyles knock on and a subsequent offside saw the Americans marched backwards.
From the Toner-won lineout, Boss passed for McFadden to dummy his way through the centre on a pacy run. Closed down in the 22, he looped a long pass out to the left for the supporting Henshaw who unfortunately, with a defender close by, failed to hold onto the ball.
The Athlone teenager was annoyed with himself as it was Ireland's best try-scoring chance over the closely-fought encounter, and they could only add three more points while Clever was in the sin-bin for a tip tackle on Toner.
The game, largely defence-dominated up to that point, began to open up further. The 14-man Americans tackled ferociously as O'Mahony, Madigan and Olding all attempted to prize open a rare gap.
Henderson was unlucky to be pinged for what looked a legitimate steal at a ruck and the resulting long range kick was hammered home by Wyles to pull the deficit back to 15-9.
Into the final quarter, a quiet Simon Zebo was beaten to a Cave grubber kick by Manoa and the flanker kicked downfield to put Henshaw under pressure. The young full-back knocked on as Ngwenya sprinted towards him, and the American winger did likewise as Ireland had a let-off.
With Clever reintroduced into an ultra physical back row, Saracens clubman Wyles clipped over his fourth successful penalty - this time from inside the Irish 22 after some purposeful running from out-half Toby L'Estrange and centre Andrew Suniula.
Now just one score behind, the Americans had set up a thrilling final 14 minutes. But aided by the fresh legs of their bench, the young and inexperienced Ireland side responded in strong fashion and showed the necessary control and composure to see out the result.
Madigan probed on a half-break and Boss' replacement Paul Marshall put in a trademark kick chase from the back of a scrum, pinning the Americans back with time running out.
Ngwenya had one final cut from deep but replacement Felix Jones brought him to ground on the American 22 and Olding got over the ball at the ensuing ruck to win a penalty. Madigan produced his first miss from the kicking tee as the ball nicked away to the right of the posts.
The Leinster man's 15-point haul proved to be enough in the end as Toner rose highest to claim the restart and winding down the clock, Marshall was able to kick the ball dead to confirm Ireland's first Test win since they beat eventual Six Nations champions Wales back in February.
The touring party, minus Zebo who has been drafted into the British & Irish Lions squad, will move on to Toronto for their second and final match of the summer tour against Canada next Saturday (kick-off 8pm local time/1am Irish time).
TIME LINE: 10 minutes - Ireland penalty: Ian Madigan - 0-3; 18 mins - Ireland penalty: Ian Madigan - 0-6; 26 mins - USA penalty: Chris Wyles - 3-6; 31 mins - Ireland penalty: Ian Madigan - 3-9; 33 mins - USA penalty: Chris Wyles - 6-9; 40 mins - Ireland penalty: Ian Madigan - 6-12; Half-time - USA 6 Ireland 12; 54 mins - USA yellow card: Todd Clever (dangerous tackle); 54 mins - Ireland penalty: Ian Madigan - 6-15; 58 mins - USA penalty: Chris Wyles - 9-15; 66 mins - USA penalty: Chris Wyles - 12-15; 80 mins - Ireland penalty: missed by Ian Madigan - 12-15; Full-time - USA 12 Ireland 15
|United States Score Card|
|Ireland Score Card|